If you have more than one child, there’s no doubt you’ve been witness to the arguments, disagreements and full-out fights that can happen between siblings.
It can start from the smallest of things like not sharing a toy, taking the last spot on the couch or even just looking at them. Each child has their own personality on what will set them off and how much they can handle when it comes to conflict.
Overall, my kids get along really well. It’s a priority on our parenting that our kids be respectful of each other and I genuinely want them to be really close. I grew up with my parents putting a big priority on all of us getting along and now that I am an adult — my siblings I would consider my true best friends.
I really want that for my kids, but on those days where it seems impossible for them to even sit in the same room with each other — I wonder.
Then the most awesome thing happens. As I sit back and watch how they diffuse the conflict on their own, using their communication skills, manners and brainstorming abilities — they work it out on their own.
As a parent, my first instinct is to break up the fight (the yelling kind, my kids haven’t physically fought yet) — calm them down and “fix things”. It would be easier (and frankly, quieter) if I just moved each kid to their own corner and waited for the heat to go down, but I’ve realized they won’t really learn much from that.
Over the past few months, I have watch my kids resolve their own conflicts and it’s been pretty cool to watch. They have really learned how to communicate with each other the more I step back. I have seen them apologize on their own, make things up to the person, brainstorm and put into action way to make something right or everyone happier.
It’s been a great learning thing for me — to step back and let them figure things out on their own. I may have to suffer through some yelling and tears (and know when I really do need to step in), but I have a feeling that working all this out now when they’re still little — they’re on a great road for becoming life-long friends (with great communication and conflict resolution skills).
Photo credit: adapted from iStockPhoto
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